Skip to comments.13 bishops join the chorus against BA's ban on cross
Posted on 11/24/2006 12:11:31 PM PST by protest1
13 bishops join the chorus against BA's ban on cross
Thirteen anglican bishops joined the chorus of outrage against British Airways.
Senior figures from the Church of England and the wider Anglican community backed the right of check-in worker Nadia Eweida to openly wear a cross.
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British Airways says jewellery is allowed only if it is worn under the uniform.
With the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, still silent on the issue, the new attacks on BA were led by the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, who warned that the airline's rule "smacks of religious intolerance."
He said: "This has turned into a very important and symbolic case and I think she is right to insist on the British tradition that we should be allowed to express ourselves visibly in public.
"The historic majority faith is being treated with a greater measure of disrespect than others."
Bishops also spoke out from Hertford, Leeds, Bolton, Birmingham, Swindon, Bristol, Blackburn, Norwich, Sheffield, Gloucester, Lichfield and Essex.
Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, said preventing people wearing the most sacred sign of their faith "seems petty and pointless," while his counterpart in Sheffield, Jack Nicholls, said: "Most people simply do not understand why this person is not able to wear something which is special to her and which others obviously do not find offensive."
The Bishop of Blackburn, Nicholas Reade, said: "This is another example of Christians being discriminated against in what was a Christian country.
"I hope BA will not ask me to remove my pectoral cross next time I fly with them. I know of other airlines who would welcome me and other Christians who wish to wear the sign of their faith."
Michael Perham, Bishop of Gloucester, said: "If a Sikh can wear his turban, as I believe he should, then a Christian should be able to wear her cross."
The Bishop of Lichfield, Jonathan Gledhill, warned that Britain's "ancient freedoms" were at mortal risk.
He said: "No one has the right to stop people wearing a cross - unless they want to destroy the spiritual foundation of our nation."
The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, had been the first senior church figure to condemn BA, calling its policy "flawed nonsense."
The issue has also sparked outrage in the worldwide Anglican community.
The Archbishop of the West Indies, Drexel Wellington Gomez, said: "The right to wear religious symbols is a basic human right," while the Bishop of Trinidad and Tobago, Calvin Bess, said BA had turned the world "topsy turvy."
In Scotland, Roman Catholic Cardinal Keith O'Brien said he supported a boycott and condemned the ban as "the latest stage in the attempted destruction of Christianity."
The Church of Scotland Moderator, the Right Reverend Alan McDonald, has written to the chairman of BA requesting a meeting and said he may also raise the issue when he meets Tony Blair next week.
In the U.S., where the case has featured on TV news, Britain was ridiculed as a "soft-touch nation."
Kieran McCaffey, of the powerful Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, which has 30million followers, said: "Britain is trapped in a multicultural mess of its own making.
What's provoking this situation is a hostility towards Christians and a fawning over Islam, which is rooted in fear."
In Africa, where BA flies to more than a dozen destinations, there have been widespread calls for a boycott of the airline.
Is it just me, or do you get the feeling that no one would give a damn if the woman wnating to wear the cross was not non-white (my assumption based on the her name)?
Here is the url of there customer service email form.
"Lastly my fear is we allow this and we'll have no argument against followers of other more dangerous faiths from using the same argument."
This is a religious issue, as it is ONLY Christians who are falling under the "no jewellery" rule. It will not leave us unable to object to displays of religious apparel by muslims or others as they are already exempt! BA allows head scarf by muslims, and various jewellery by Hindus as well as turbans by Sikhs.
my employer has special grooming exception for certain faiths regarding to beards .....Christians are allowed only small mustaches!
Persecution helps. Maybe it will even make the Anglicans return to Christianity (instead of the PC wobbles they've been pushing for years, which has essentially emptied their churches). Even Rowan Williams is making orthodox noises now, and I think this challenge may result in a vast change in the CoE, away from support for gays, an all-female clergy and any other liberal garbage, and back to Christianity.
Yes, that had crossed my mind. Christians might become more serious about their faith and speak out more when discriminated against.
Your argument needs to be stop allowing others to get away with this, not to allow everybody to get away it. After the business aspect it's still not about persecuting Christians as much as it's about the tendency to cave to political pressure from the fringe elements.
It's a religious issue if people who are religious see it as one. If they are angry enough, it becomes a business issue for BA, because of the money they lose through a boycott, and the bad publicity. Is BA completely private, or is it partly state-owned, and entitled to special state tax breaks, etc.? I believe the latter. As such, it's a political issue too.
There is always a desire to make business issues trump political and personal considerations. The desire is understandable. But it's also not the way the works now, ever has worked, or ever will work. If enough Christians get pissed off about this, BA will have to bend, on the cross. This does not mean it has to bend on burkas, which is a security issue, or bend on swastikas, or anything else.
For your information, Copts and most of Arabs are white. They are not Indo-Europeans but Jews, Hungarians, Fins,Turks are neither and still are counted as white.
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